High Performance Differential Elastic Actuator for Robotic Interaction Tasks

Michel Lauria, Marc-Antoine Legault, Marc-Andre Lavoie, Francois Michaud

interaction models, the difficulties to precisely measure the task associated physical quantities (force, speed, ...) in real time and the non-collocation of sensors and transducers have negative effects on performance and stability of robots when using simple force or simple movement controllers. To cope with these issues, some researchers proposed a new approach named interaction control that refers to regulation of the robot's dynamic behavior at its ports of interaction with the environment. Interaction control involves specifying a dynamic relationship between motion and force, and implementing a control law that attempts to minimize deviation from this relationship [1]. The implementation of machines able to precisely control interaction with its environment begins with the use of actuators specially designed for that purpose. To that effect, a new compact implementation design for high performance actuators that are especially adapted for integration in robotic mechanisms is presented, this design making use of a mechanical differential as central element. Differential coupling between an intrinsically high impedance transducer and an intrinsically low impedance spring element provides the same benefits as serial coupling [4]. However differential coupling allows new interesting design implementations possibilities, especially for rotational actuators.

Subjects: 17. Robotics; 6. Computer-Human Interaction

Submitted: Jan 30, 2007

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